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[Being a study on the methods and culture of the ancient Necrontyr race]

Transmitted:  Magos Biologis Research Station: Nespis VIII
Received:  Nallisea III
Date: 8829999.M41
Astropath: Prime Torel
Ref: INQ.XB.930/T
Collated by:
Magos Biologis Justov Thon

Tau Drones

My Lord,

The Tau have been observed using a number of drones, both in battle and before battle. In this report I will inform you of the many drones used by the Tau and how they are designed.

All drones use the same basic outer shell, appearing to be two half-sphere discs separated by a midsection, with two communications vanes protruding from the upper disc. These communications vanes allow the drones to communicate with specialized equipment mounted on battlesuits, vehicles, and handheld drone controllers. In the upper disc, every drone carries sensors, targeting equipment, and threat analyzers. The lower disc carries a very small hover engine, just enough to allow the drone to move about and maneuver around obstacles, as well as attempting to dodge incoming enemy fire. The lower disc also includes the main hardware used for the drone's purpose. This is different depending on what the drone is designed to do, as described below.

Gun drones are simply drones that carry weapons mounted on their lower discs. These drones can be used to defend a specified objective (which can include someone using a drone controller), or they can be used to give additional offensive capabilities to an assault on a target. They can be equipped with twin pulse carbines, missile racks, or a burst cannon.

Shield drones are used to provide a defensive shield for their controller. They are mounted with a small shield generator and a more advanced threat analyzer in their lower disc, as well as additional maneuvering equipment. Should the need arise, the shield drone will sacrifice itself by moving in the path of an incoming shot, likely being destroyed itself but saving the objective it is assigned to protect.

Reconnaissance drones are never seen in battle, but are often seen before battle. They are unarmed, and their lower disc includes a great amount of recording hardware, sensors, and other monitoring equipment. Their job is to scout out a position before a Tau assault, allowing the Tau to have a clearer view of what they are going up against. They can also be used to patrol a Tau installation, noticing any intruders before they get too close to the installation.

Repair drones are also never seen in battle, but have been noticed after battles. They will move onto the field of battle, assuming it has been secured by the Tau, and will move about repairing any damaged vehicles or battlesuits. This is achieved using tools mounted on the lower disc, including welding torches, grasping claws, and other similar devices needed to perform quick repairs.

These are the only drones I have been made aware of so far. If I learn of any more drones, I will inform you in future addendums.

APPENDIX I: Resources

This report was pieced together using information gained from battle debriefings, battlefield holos, interrogations of captured Tau, and the dissection and study of some damaged drones found after successful battles. It should be noted that to date there has not yet been a captured repair drone, but they have been recorded on holo after an unsuccessful skirmish with Tau forces.


Appended to this report you will find some images recorded from battlefield observation equipment. These images give you a rough idea of what the Tau drones are like in size and form.  They are very useful for helping our forces distinguish between the different types of Tau drone.

tau-gun-drone.jpg (1908 bytes)tau-gun-drone2.jpg (5364 bytes)tau-shield-drone.jpg (3425 bytes)

Your obedient servant,
Magos Biologis Justov Thon